The 10 Best DJ Screw Mixtapes Image via Screwed Up Records

3. DJ Screw Codeine Fien (1995)

This isn't grimy Keke freestyles or Screw devotedly chopping up Pac. Just a personal tape for Screw's boy Randy, who was down from 1992. A classic for the atmosphere, Screw's diligent mixing (of a sort that would go missing on later tapes). You can picture Bird and Mike D leaning over the tables. You can picture Screw letting the beat ride on "Swangin and Bangin," lifting a fat hand off the record to wipe sweat off his forehead, pausing to let Randy give shoutouts, "All these boys got their Nikes on. This ain't the flea market shit. We all real up in here."

And the ESG hook comes in, "And now you know what my real Gs do/Sip syrup, swang and bang/Jam nothin' but that Screw, fool." Twelve minutes riding out to ESG, perfect as it gets, Screw bringing it back, cutting it down, synth wounds opening up and bleeding across the hook, the drums broken down to tin cans rattling across pavement. A freestyle break for Mike D to take the mic over Domino's "Tales from the Hood." But this tape, more than others, is about Screw's mix and just digging on another way to listen to a track, the dopeness of slowed-down music. E-40's "It's All Bad," the creepiness and sadness fuller and enhanced. The way that "Groovin' on a Sunday"'s sunshine and murder and West Coast chilled-ness just sounds more correct at half speed.

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